WoW Cataclysm: Western Plaguelands Preview

Before introducing you to the changes to Western Plaguelands there are some less visible changes that should be noted.

Before
introducing you to the changes to Western Plaguelands there are
some less visible changes that should be noted. The rather tedious (and
some would say annoying) job of faring Argent Crusade reputation via
Scourge Stones has been removed, a change that should have taken place
long ago. The level range for the newly designed zone has also changed
to better implement Blizzard’s grand flow design. The one
50-58 zone has been reduced to a zone more suitable for players
level  40-45.


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Upon first entrance into the Western Plaguelands it’s clear
that this zone has been changed for the better through the
effects of Cataclysm. A once dead land, flowers now dot the ground and
the grass is slowly coming back to life. The trees have regained their
leaves and the whole land practically hums with new growth.


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The wildlife here has also taken a turn for the better. While some
diseased animals still haunt the landscape, more often than not in
post-Cataclysm Western Plaguelands players will find themselves faced
with healthy looking animals full of life.


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Moving east across the zone players will come across Felstone
Field. Before Cataclysm this place was overrun by Scourge and home to
one of the many Scourge Cauldrons, which was placed directly in the
center of the field. Now, Felstone Field has been reclaimed by the
Alliance. The fences have been mended, the buildings repaired, and
Allliance Laborer’s work tirelessly on their 
growing crops.


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Halfway between Felstone Field and Dalson’s Tears a grim
sight meets the eye. Formerly in this location there was a small camp
filled with Scarlet Crusade members and their pets. Much like the
destruction found in Venomweb Vale in Tirisfal Glades this camp has
been eradicated, all that remains are bodies engulfed in purple flames.



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Moving further east past the carnage of the Scarlet encampment players
will be greeted with a much happier sight. The place formerly known as
Dalson’s Tears, overrun by Scourge with its very own Scourge
Cauldron has also been reclaimed by the Alliance. As such, with
pumpkins thriving in the fields and the Scourge ran off, this area has
been renamed fittingly; Dalson’s Farm.


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Just outside of Dalson’s Farm a grouping of tents has
appeared in what is now called the Menders Stead. Residing in
these tents are Cenarion Circle members of all races. These Cenarion
members are to credit with the reclaiming of Dalson’s Farm,
and also perhaps for the general renewal of the Western Plaguelands in
general.


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A new flight path has also been added here by the Cenarion
Circle. Thankfully, players won’t need to walk to
gain access to Western Plaguelands in Cataclysm thanks to the new
flight paths such as this one.


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The road leading north has been cleared of debris. No longer will
players find fallen logs and machines of war, nor will Infected Deer be
found along this path.


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The renewal of the land has drawn in a few new inhabitants. Redpaw
Gnolls have taken up residence along the northern road, giving players
some new mobs to kill.


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The Scarlet forces in the area seem to have vanished. Whether this is
because of the recent appearance of the Gnolls, or due to some
other reason remains unknown.


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Moving further up this road, at the next area of wall that was once
overrun with Scarlet forces, it becomes easier to see what may have
happened to them. While there is not a living soul to be seen in this
area, the Argent Crusade flag now flies here.


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Just down the road a small force of Argent soldiers is on patrol,
confirming the fact that they are now in charge in this part of the
land.


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The tower that once held Scarlet forces just before reaching Hearthglen
was also claimed by the Argent Crusade. However, while their flags fly
on the tower it appears they have been slack in patrolling the area as
Gnoll Looters have arrived on the scene. On a brighter note the tower
now has it’s very own name; Taelan’s Tower.


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When Hearthglen is finally reached it becomes clear that there is
indeed an Argent Crusade force in the area, and it’s larger
than ever expected. The Scarlet Crusade forces that once dominated
Hearthglen are gone, and a new brighter Hearthglen era has begun. While
not much has changed except for the owners of Hearthglen, at the very
least it’s nice as a Horde player to be able to walk into
this part of the zone without fear of attack.


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Moving back south
down the road and to the east, players will come across another new
addition to the zone; Malicia’s Outpost. This is no new town
for Alliance or Horde, but instead is a very sinister grouping of mobs.
In the center is Instructer Malicia who happens to be floating in the
middle of some kind of summoning circle. Judging by the deadened state
of the trees and the plagued wildlife wandering near here, this appears
to be an attempt to undo the efforts of the Cenarion Circle.


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Near Malicia’s Outpost lies the Weeping Cave. The familiar
Vile Slimes, Rotting Behemoths, and Devouring Oozes have been replaced
with some much more interesting looking specimens.


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Southwest of the Weeping Cave and Malicia’s Outpost
Gahrron’s Withering can be found. This farmstead is the only
one in Western Plaguelands that has yet to be reclaimed, perhaps due to
the closeness of Malicia’s forces.  Even the Scourge
Cauldren and it’s Cauldron Lord remain. Because of this,
Gahrron’s Withering has changed little even while the rest of
the zone has taken many steps forward.


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West of Gahrron’s Withering lies the Writhing Haunt. This
farmstead, unlike the one before it, is in the process of being
rebuilt, replanted, and returned to its former glory. It really is good
to see this once dead land come back to life. While this place still
needs much work before it is returned to complete functionality the
progress here is promising.


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With the Western Plaguelands fast becoming a profitable land, the
Alliance and Horde (namely the Forsaken) have both made bids on the
land. No where is this more evident than in Andorhal. Once the
stronghold of the Scourge, now both Forsaken and Alliance forces do
battle against the Scourge remaining here, with both factions hoping to
stake their claim.  


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Some of Andorhal has already been purged of the Scourge, and as such
both Alliance and Forsaken forces have set up bases here with the
Forsaken in the east and the Alliance in the west. Will these two
forces engage in their own battle once all of the Scourge have been
purged from this land?


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This day may be a long time coming though as Araj the Summoner still
stands strong in the center of Andorhal. Until he is defeated the
Scourge will never truly be gone from Andorhal.


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Escaping the chaos of Andorhal to Chillwind Camp we find that the
ruined house here has been rebuilt and a family has taken up residence
inside. The camp itself still remains in the back of the house, with a
few new additions of the Argent Dawn persuasion.


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Sorrow Hill is also undergoing some changes. A new wall that looks like
the work of the Argent Crusade has been put in place of the old gate,
the Scourge have been cleared from the area, and the mausoleum (or at
least that’s what I always assumed it was) is in the process
of getting a facelift as well.


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With the Scourge gone from this place, more friendly ghosts
have  appeared. The graveyards have been renewed and the whole
place gleams with newness.


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Uther’s Tomb has been given the same royal treatment that was
provided to Sorrow Hill. With an extravagant new walkway, and a
complete restoration of the tomb itself, this place is now truly a
fitting burial place for a hero such as Uther.




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The final stop on our journey through the Western Plaguelands is the
island which houses Scholomance and the town of Caer Darrow . Sadly
enough this island has not been freed from the plague, and the houses
here still stand in ruins haunted by the souls of the past.  


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At the top of the hill lies Scholomance, still an academy dedicated to
prospective necromancers of the Scourge. It truly appears that nothing
on this deserted isle has changed. Inside Scholomance all appears the
same as well except for the appearance of 4 quest givers  that
once could be found in other various locations just inside the
entrance.


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This concludes our tour of the Western Plaguelands, to share your
thoughts on the changes you have seen here join us on our forums!







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Amunet, also fondly known as Memtron, is an organic life form best known for its ongoing obsession with Blizzard Entertainment's numerous properties. To that end, Amu has authored hundreds (thousands?) of the most popular World of Warcraft guides, editorials, and Top 10 lists on the planet. When not gaming and writing, Amu is busy chasing after her three children in a perpetual loop of ongoing disaster.

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